The great thing about yoga is that is what I’ve gained from it (among other gifts), but it might have very well granted something different to each of you readers. Yoga can help us build upon our strengths, and develop areas that aren’t as strong for us, because it is malleable enough to be a different practice for each person. That is why there is a different place for each of us, in our yoga practice/instruction and otherwise. Yoga can also help us to find that place and stay there.
My distance from the latest technologies has had immeasurable benefits for my life, however, both personally and professionally. Those advantages are a large part of the reasoning for pratyahara, or sense withdrawal, one of Patanjali’s Eight Limbs. As I disconnected from an over-stimulating amount of sensory information from screens, the reduced amount that my senses then took in began to mean more for my overall subjective well-being. As the saying goes, less can be more.
When we are able to drop into our own heart with a feeling of deep compassion, we are more able to truly love ourselves unconditionally. This does not mean that we are completely off the hook for our own wrong doings! It simply means that we can offer ourselves the loving kindness and forgiveness that so many Yoga practitioners offer to others, both near and far. It is often more challenging to allow a feeling of soft compassion to arise in our own hearts for ourselves, than it is to feel compassion for those who are struggling 3000 miles away from us! When we are able to extend a feeling of compassion to ourselves, we are also freed from past mistakes and are more able to become independent of patterns of thinking and behavior that are no longer serving our highest good.